Brooklyn. A long time ago. I had a friend who worked at CBGB’s. I really did. He set up chairs or something. Then he got hit by a bus but somehow survived.
So. I’m a baker again. Baking knishes. Not too hard. The boss never liked me. Maybe I was a shitty worker.
A guy comes in. He wants to market the knishes. It’s the eternal conflict. You see there are shtetl Jews from Eastern Europe with their goats 🐐 and cows and pogroms and Bolshevism and Fiddler on the Roof.
Then there are refined Venetian Jews with art, music, science 🧫 gondola rides… We never meshed with Tevye. So the boss is shtetl and I am Gondola. They hate us because they correctly think that we feel superior to them. Because we are.
At any rate, I bake. I handle the register. I clean up. There is always a motley collection of customers. Brighton Beach Jews, Odessa Russians, Sheepshead Bay Puerto Ricans, Kings Highway Italians, Coney Island blacks.
So one day, a salesman comes in for a frozen food company. He wants to take the knishes nationwide. He is conversing with shtetl boss. I shraike. “I’d buy those!” My boss goes Brooklyn beserk, shroaking: ”I run this place, you sweep 🧹 floors! Keep your f&$king mouth shut! Blah, blah, blah, words, words, words.” So I shut up.
Maybe he had a point. No. F&$k that fat greasy motherf&$ker.
A week later. A lady comes in. Blonde. Hot rich 40-something Anglo-Saxon. Obviously 🙄 Manhattanite.
She orders a 35 cent knish. She gives me 50 cents. I give her 15 cents change. She demands 50 cents change. I explain: ”50-35 equals 15.” She freaks out and demands 50 cents. What a goddamned thief. I’m trying to protect the store. Shtetl boss comes running over. ”You’re fired!”
OK. I’m schmieed. I storm out, flipping a tray of knishes. I kick over a garbage can in the alley. Thanks to that filthy old Simka and that shitty shtetl-dweller.
At any rate, allow me to shroake: ”You are most likely to get schmieed when you act in the best interests of the company.”
Next job. I’m at this grocery. Apparently, I am too inept to stock shelves. So I bake bread. Big grocery stores used to bake their own bread.
They tried to get me to join a union. I refused – not because I am anti-union, but because I was making $2.40 an hour and the union dues would have been like half of my tiny paycheck.
So they already didn’t like me. So I do OK. I bake. No problems. I leave town to visit friends in another state. Somehow I forgot that I had a job.
(When I went to visit my friends, none of them nor their parents would let me stay. May I say with all grace and sincerity: f&$k each and every one of them in their spermatozoa-soaked anuses. May they rot in hellfire for their lack of hospitality.
My friend Shabadee took me in at his apartment down in abandoned part of the ghetto. He was staying with his uncle Shabbazz El Shabbadaw. We drank Olde English and roaked Blazizzle.
Shabbadaw might have been an ex-con, whacked out, drug addict, homosexual, alcoholic, Vietnam Vet, but he let me couch surf when my ’friends’ and their families turned me down. So he’s a hero and f&$k everyone else.)
I get back and they Shraike: ”We didn’t know what happened to you, so you were Schmieed (Pronounced let go)” ”So, I like don’t work here anymore?” I Shroake. ”No you anus! You’re f&$king fired!”
In each episode, the character who gets fired could be played by a different famous actor.
The first episode, visualize a 16 year old Jack Lemmon.
“It was my first real job. It was a fast food restaurant. Lets call it Effendi’s™️🍔.
We are seated in the dining room of the brand new joint. We are a thousand miles from where the shitty fast food chain was founded and we have to listen to the bullshit origin story. Some guy founded the chain and named it after his daughter. Mega-YAWN! I’m getting $2.40 an hour!
OK. I keep a straight face. They started me on the register. I was bad at that. Next they had me on cooking. I was bad at that. I burned the fries, dropped burgers, screwed up the Erosty™️ beverages. Then they had me on dishwashing.
Apparently I sucked at dishwashing too.
The manager comes in. He looks like an emaciated sinewy cat. He starts shroaking at me about how shitty and slow I am at washing dishes.
“You don’t know how to wash dishes!”
He shroake, hands on hips, like Popeye the Sailor Man.
“Well, I get a dirty pot of chili, I rinse it, then Brillo out the bottom until the burned meat residue is gone, then I soap it scrub it and rinse it as fast as I can.”
“Get your towel organized!”
“What the hell does that even mean? Get your towel organized?”
The smell of burned grease permeated everything. The disgusting 🤮 assembly line food production. The greasy polyester uniform stinking of grease.
I shroake to myself after he left the sink area.
Four weeks later – July
I also handled the garbage. The left wheel on the garbage kept falling off on the way to and from the dumpster.
There were always people in the drive through line sometimes carloads of shroaking idiots from my high school 🏫.
So I go to take out the garbage. The wheels come off. The bags spill. A carload of idiots from my high school are watching.
“Ooh Botendaddy! You suck! You stupid dope! Look at my garbage you fat stupid freak! Look at this! Here’s my anus!”
Several of my peers shoved their naked buttocks out the window and exposed their filthy anii.
“Botendaddy! You suck! You shitty dope with your garbage can! Smell my shitty, tasty thumb! You goddamned freak!”
Everyone in every other car began loudly guffawing. It was hot. I was sweating 😓 and angered by the indignity. The laughs and insults rained down like pumice from Mt. Vesuvius.
I picked up the giant garbage can and I hurled it at the door.
Just then, as if on cue, the mangy cat-like manager opened the door. He looked up to see the massive green plastic garbage can descending in super-slow-mo and he was thus crushed.
Needless to say, I was promptly schmieed (Pronounced fired) from my shitty job.
Opinion on ‘The Last Hard Men’ – is it worth a modern remake?
It would have been better with Warren Oates as Provo. James Coburn is too urbane and too likeable.
Hard Men was Andrew McLaglen’s attempt to do Peckinpah. The acting wasn’t great and the film score didn’t rise to the occasion.
It’s definitely brutal, but poorly filmed. The actors need to be grittier and they needed less dramatic and more quiet vicious criminal style.
Coburn (Zach Provo) is like a crazed western Captain Ahab. The actors who play the bad guys are too clean and reachable almost silly, not really an aura of unreasonable evil. They also have the fake half Indian like Billy Jack, Charles Bronson and others.
Provo escapes from chain gang. His only goal ala Magua is to get revenge on the retired lawman Sam Burgade by luring him into a trap by kidnapping his daughter.
Provo manipulates and kills his own gang, commits murder, foments rape, he is coldly insane willing to die for revenge.
The subtext of the film is the contrast between the old and the new. Trucks and cars mix with horses. Telephones are becoming ubiquitous. Provo and his nemesis Sam Burgade (Charlton Heston) represent the old West. They are violent and uncompromising.
The film doesn’t lament the passing of the old West, like with every other topic it addresses, the film seems ambivalent at best.
This film could be redone in a gritty style – maybe in black and white? Barbara Hershey is awful. I have hated her in every role except ‘Falling Down’.
The bleary-eyed neo-liberal modern young lawman Michael Parks as Sheriff Noel Nye is annoyingly realistic as a do-gooder crusader, just as insanely committed to his cause as is thr maniac Provo. He is willing to let a woman get gang-raped to avoid shooting the bad guys.
Peckinpah films like McLaglen’s were almost intentionally unartful but very much in the Protestant American Western genre although not as slick as the Catholic symbolic Spaghetti Westerns with their beautiful Morricone films scores.
Undoubtedly an homage to Sam Peckinpah. Almost has that deliberately bad Mexican film ala ‘Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.’ Which was in fact a deliberate attempt to make a bad Mexican Film.
Reservoir Dogs has a hint of this ‘no one here gets out alive vibe’. Maybe this film inspired Tarantino?
At any rate it, needs to be remade in a darker style. Virtually every scene is acrid broad daylight. McLaglen doesn’t take advantage of the contrast between light and shadow like Sergio Leone. Maybe it can be redone with more night scenes. Take advantage of dark and shadow.
The film also lacks a psychological element. There is no suspense. It is very much a B-Movie Drive-in second feature.
This series always spoke to me. I am an adventurer, a wanderer and a ‘Bando’. Imagine being able to explore a complex structure the size of a small state. You could explore it for a decade and always find something new.
A lot of people love Harlan Ellison. I hate his dull derivative writing. He stole the idea for Starlost (1973) from Robert Heinlein’s Space Orphans (1941). It is also a similar plot to Silent Running 1972.
Then Ooh! They wouldn’t implement Ellison’s ‘vision’. His vision is poppycock and balderdash. Who cares what he thinks? Who cares what awards he won. John Wayne Gacy the Killer Clown 🤡 won awards too. So did Hitler.
A Canadian effort. Produced by William Davidson. Writers included crazy Harlan Ellison (as Cordwainer Bird), George Ghent, Norman Klenman, Martin Lager.
I have no problem with the production values, set design or weird green screen and color effects. I like the show. If you don’t, then go watch what you like I don’t care about your stupid opinion. Go watch your Marvel movies CGI visual bowel movement.
The Plot of The Starlost is a giant spaceship some 50 miles wide by 200 miles long preserves different human cultures from a dead earth in separate pods. In Silent Running, a botanist (Bruce Dern) tries to save flora from a polluted earth in various pods with his mechanical friends: Huey, Dewey and Lewey.
The protagonists escape their pastoral pod, Cypress Corners. They are simple decent people. They wander into other pods meet other cultures and have various adventures. Each episode is a little morality play like Star Trek.
The Ark is on a collision course with a distant star and these simple primitive people are the only ones with the vision to save it.
The Spaceship Ark is metaphor for Earth. Drifting alone in space. Different cultures in conflict with our fate uncertain.
The three main characters are innocent Amish-like people with few pre-judgments and a penchant towards kindness and morality.
Many things are unexplained, like how the software hardware and ship systems stay in good working order for 800 years or so.
It has low production values they say, but I’m not big on shitty CGI special effects. Only morons and children like hi-tech special effects. The series speaks to me. If you don’t like The Starlost, you are fat and stupid.
Keir Dullea is brilliant as Devin. His buddies are Garth (Robin Ward) and Rachel (Gay Rowan). Lots of special guests like Walter Koenig (Chekhov). They also had a pod apparently of all people of African descent.
While The Starlost borrows freely from Star Trek and other shows, other shows seem to borrow from The Starlost.
The Starlost is eerily similar to the later Star Wars 1977. The ultra-long mega ship. The interior spaceship decor. The sexual tension between the three main characters a parallel to Luke, Han and Leah? Rachel even has similar hair to Leah most of the time.
The Monty Python line ‘bring out your dead’ some two years after the phrase appears in episode 10 of The Starlost.
Excellent low key musical score on a level with Star Trek 1966-69’s background score that drive the levels of tension.
They made an attempt to have guest writers or adaptations like Ursula K. LeGuin.
The weird computer face guy – Mu 165 (William Osler) aka the Spirit image is awesome. He’s about 60% helpful sort of like modern computers.
Many of the stories are derivative as is everything else derivative of everything else.
I highly recommend this series. You can get the DVD set, watch it on Roku or Youtube. This is a must for a reboot if it sticks to it’s minimalistic roots.
4×10# and 2×5# Pancake 1-1/16th inch diameter bore plates and 2×5# Bollinger 1 inch bore plates. I believe Bollinger is a Sears brand.
The 1-1/16th bore pancakes are vintage, probably dating back to the 70’s. The Bollingers could be more recent.
I grab hexes when I find them.
Two cheap hollow dumbbell bars and two York Stainless Steel dumbbell bars with original York collars.
I will strip the rust off of all of them and repaint the black collars red.
The stainless bars will be stripped to the metal and cleaned but not repainted.
The sleeves are too far gone and will be sanded and spray painted with chrome color paint.
The hollow dumbbells will be painted flat-black and get four matching collars.
If the chrome is destroyed, you can spray paint it with chrome-colored paint. It just needs to dry for a week so it isn’t sticky.
I prefer the clanking iron plates to the shitty rubber-coated plates. Rubber is only good for bumper plates.
The hex dumbbells 💪 will be sanded, painted flat black and lettering will have white enamel paint.
Make sure you ventilate if you spray paint. Be outside or somewhere with an open door.
I will show the enamel lettering once everything dries.
The final product.
Metallic Plates are difficult to letter with enamel paint pens. The paint must dry for a couple of days. Then do a first coat with the enamel pen on the letters. Wait a day and then the lettering will c
These are 1-1/16th inch bore plates for vintage barbells and dumbbells.
Somewhere in Guernsey 🇬🇬: “Tychy… Rosebud… Citizen Botendaddy. The code can be found here on shortwave vacuum tube receiver crystal set using Morse code with a reverse Caesar Cipher black ops NYT crossword clue, from Omsk: https://tychy.wordpress.com/“
Kremlin – Ivan the terrible grand ballroom. Long Sowiejt laughter emanates as 😂 glasses of vodka (Pronounced Wood 🪵 kah) are klinked
‘Nastrovyia’! Is Shroaked.
“Komraide Alexandreiovich Dmitri Botenzciewski! You have to be done well for ‘the cause.’ Now is Komraide Prezhident Putin to has been decided that you must to be return to Slavic paradise. It is good to hear your native Russian again, nyet? The language of Tolstoy! Chekhov! Not like the fat, sexy, decadent Americans with their video games, pop musik and Captain Crunch! Now you must return to holy mother Russia 🇷🇺 (Pronounced Droo-see-yah)!”
Shroake Chief of the Rezidenzthiya Bureau, Vasily Georgevich Malinkov.
“Da Komraide Kommisar, je ochin Khorosho moyumili tavarisch!”
I Shroake, whilst I drank the Sowiejt Vodka whilst I wore my official Sowiejt Union Naval Officer dress uniform 🥋 as seen in many shitty Hollywood movies.
“You sure had those stupid fat sexy Americans fooled, nyet? Many years of outsmarting fat smelly CSGO-playing Americans whilst they ate yummy Taco 🌮 Bell 🔔 fast-food delivery on shitty Russian knock ✊🏿 offs of Apple 🍎 Komputers they ordered from decadent Amazonski.”
Shroake KGB station Chief Mendeleev Piotr Petrovich.
“You are officially recalled. Decadent sex-crazed racist Amerika has collapsed as predicted by Komraide Nikolai Kruschhev. Komraide Putin needs you here to have been defend motherland against enemy-type persons. Your long sojourn amongst sex-crazed Amerikanski Teufels is to been over. You will have back your old Dacha in Kamchatka Peninsula. Nice cool temperatures of 600 below Kelvin in July.
“You see Botje, Amerika is decadent, broken 😞 undependable. Cigaretu? It’s Czech! Gold Seal! Look at fall of Afghanistan 🇦🇫, Vietnam 🇻🇳, like Foppish British Dunquerque, Stalemate in Korea 🇰🇷 , disaster in Iraq 🇮🇶, slaughter of Indigenous Native American 🇺🇸 Wild West Indian persons by sexy cowboys (Pronounced Koe-bwahs), enslavement of black African type persons. IS ALL TO HAVE BEEN DECADENT WESTERN JINGOISTIC KAPITALIST OLIGARCH RUNNING DOG PAPER TIGER PROPAGANDA OF TOP HAT 🎩 KAPITALIST SWINE! HOLD HIGH BANNER OF WORKERS PARADISE TYPE PLACE!”
Shroake Petrovich banging shoe on table. Putin in corner nods and smiles.
Weird Russian squatting kicking dance occurs whilst Kalinka is played, caviar is eaten and vodka is to have been drunken 🥴 .
Whilst everyone is distracted, Extrême ultra, super-spy, Botendaddy is to have been disappears into August Moscow night with balmy summer temperatures of 445 below Kelvin.
“Botendaddy is gone, Komraide Putin, I am afraid to report that he is a triple agent. He is to have been escaped with help of foppish twit MI7 British Agent Tychy. It seems that the evil genius Joe Biden, brilliant ringmaster of Amerika since 1971, has outsmarted us once again! Drat!”
Shroake Krepotkin. Putin nods whilst petting miniature giraffe 🦒 and drinking from Gold vodka cup whilst bicep electrodes are stimulated from huge Sowiejt weightlifter doing curls.
You think they hang around Manhattan, Vail and Hollywood doing nose jobs, facelifts and liposuction.
Some do. I suppose it’s good money.
For the last 20 years many of them gave up 90, 180, 360 or 545 days to repair the mutilated genitals and faces and hands and feet of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. They often repaired the faces of the civilian collateral damage of the Savage Wars of Peace.
They fix cleft palates, reconstruct faces of children or adults who had massive tumors removed often free of charge.
Back home they fix the faces, bodies and self-image of people badly burned in fires, victims of senseless violence, car accident victims and people who suffer gruesome workplace injuries.
They aren’t heroes. Aquaman’s a hero – to quote Chris Rock. They are craftsmen and healers. That’s the vast majority of their work.
Most of the time you don’t need them, but they are out there when you do.
Mental Illness (Inability to respond rationally to common stimuli)
Heat (as negative catalyst)
Dystopian Social Isolation – Gesellschaft (Breakdown in Society)
Lack of Empathy – Gemeinschaft (Breakdown in Community)
The movie has been roundly criticized as ‘angry white guy destroys LA’. That could not be further from the truth. Attempts to judge this film through the lens of some current political dichotomy are doomed to miss the point. It has nothing to do with that.
The obsession with aggressive political messaging has ruined most of the critiques of this film and cause many lesser critics to lose any facade of objectivity whilst groveling in feigned self-importance.
It’s a study in mental illness and a society without empathy not only for the common man, but for the weak and troubled.
The theme is the descent into mental illness. The sub-text of falling down is repeated throughout the film:
‘London bridge is falling down.’
‘Gravity… I’ll fall down.’
‘I don’t want people to fall in.’
But consider the character studies. D-FENS (Michael Douglas), lost his job, his behavior was erratic enough that his wife left him and took their child.
He stresses out in traffic where the sounds and sights become overwhelming and he and abandons his car. That is the scene where he breaks.
The detective, Prendergast (Robert Duvall) is stuck in a desk job after a shooting years ago and he is afraid of getting back on the streets. A study in PTSD.
Prendergast’s wife with whom he had a little girl who died at the age of two, is clearly disturbed with paranoia and agoraphobia -this is hinted when she gives him the grocery list indicating that she doesn’t go out.
He knows how to talk to D-FENS mother, who is clearly disturbed in a way similar to his own wife.
Prendergast and D-FENS both have mental or emotional issues but they are wrapped around each other in this story. The difference is that D-FENS is too far gone to be saved.
His fellow cops are narcissistic bullies. The proprietor of the Army Surplus store is a racist sociopath. The homeless guy is a pathological liar. Each vignette spotlights characters with their own mental issues.
Another theme is people getting instant karma from their own lack of empathy for the protagonist adding to his paranoia.
The Korean store owner won’t give him change, the gang-bangers try to steal from him then they try to kill him, the army surplus guy threatens gays, loves nazis, is sexist and threatens to turn D-FENS into the police.
Next there is the obnoxious construction guy, the golfer who won’t wait for him to get off the fairway, so he tries to hit him with the ball and our personal favorite, the fast-food Whammy Burger restaurant store that stopped serving breakfast three minutes ago.
We all secretly want them to get their come-uppance.
Everyone becomes a victim of their own micro-aggressions. D-FENS sees homeless people, poor people, a man who can’t get a loan and he identifies his own feelings of powerlessness and injustice with theirs.
In some weird way, he believes he is sticking up for the common man. He has a sense of justice based on a ideal world that has long since disappeared and that probably never existed.
D-FENS chafes at then racism, sexism, gay-bashing and anti-semitism of the Army Surplus store guy. It’s also at the store where he realizes that he has hit the point of no return.
D-FENS is likely schizophrenic but he doesn’t realize that he is in a descent into maelstrom. Another theme is the intense heat of the summer in LA.
Another theme is heat. The heat is an added stressor. It even breaks down the will of stable people, so the effect on the unstable and the hot-headed is amplified. It is a catalyst. ‘Sure was hot today.’ Heat may be known to cause people to sweat out anti-psychotic medicines at a faster rate.
He is also suffering from social isolation and existential angst as he has become psychologically separated from the world around him. He can no longer relate. He is cast aside by Notec, his employer where he did engineering work for national defense. Now he is useless. Nothing works the way he thinks it should.
The epic final scene is the classic American showdown between the bad guy in black and the Sheriff, but between two badly broken people in a dystopian shattered American dream. No-one wins.
This is a terribly underrated film. I say underrated because here I can. I choose to use that word because it fits.
This film also Michael Douglas’ most nuanced performance.
Wat VC it again but without the meaningless. childish, jejeune political overlay.